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CMR Sitrep
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Transgenders in the Military and the Tauscher Repeal Bill

1. Transgenders in the Military?

This McLatchy-Tribune newspaper report, titled "Transgender Vets a Hidden Population," highlights the next frontier for cultural change in the military. In Britain, the Office of the Minister of Defence meets with LGBT Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender groups on a regular basis, and the Obama administration is totally supportive of transgender rights. As reported by the Naval Academy Alumni USNA-At-Large network, on November 4, 2008, West Point hosted a transgender former officer who addressed a class on behalf of the Transgender American Veterans Association.

If the law is repealed and the military cannot exercise "discrimination" based on sexual orientation in accepting applicants, gender-confused people will join in significant numbers, and have access to the military and veterans' medical systems for their transgender operations. (The Palm Center recently posted a study on the transgender cause titled Summary and Analysis of the 2008 Transgender American Veterans Association Survey.) Defense and Veterans Affairs Department-funded medical coverage is a big deal for the TAVA.

A number of practical questions come to mind-where should "transitioning" individuals be housed-in the men's quarters or the women's? Who gets to decide what a person's gender is-and when? And what about women who don't want pre-surgical men sharing their private quarters, or families who are not comfortable with transgender people teaching their kids in DoD schools and child care centers-the largest institutions of their kind in the world? The opposition's policy seems to be "don't ask, don't tell."

2. Tauscher Bill to Repeal 1993 Law on Gays in the Military

This account in NPR, "Congress in No Rush to Lift 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'," reported that Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) would re-introduce her bill to repeal the 1993 law regarding homosexuals in the military. The article notes that Senator Carl Levin is probably acting as a surrogate for Sen. Ted Kennedy in attempting to find a Republican co-sponsor for a Senate companion to Tauscher's bill. Also note the statement of Aubrey Sarvis, Executive Director of the Servicemembers' Legal Defense Network, commenting that he is "talking regularly with Obama's staff and encouraging them to keep their word."
posted by CMR Editor @ 3/10/2009 03:01:00 PM

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